FIFA has agreed to the staging of a one-off four nation tournament next year. The competition will be held from May 27th to June 10th, 2018 and will comprise of four teams which surprisingly failed to qualify for the Russia World Cup - Italy, The Netherlands, Chile and The USA. It will be called the HeBelieves Cup and the USA will be the hosts.
Speaking at a press conference at FIFA's headquarters in Zurich today, President Gianni Infantino said this:
"The FIFA Executive Committee decided, that as a way of helping the Italians, Dutch, Chileans and Americans recover from the heartbreak of missing the World Cup and rebuilding their already shattered egos and giving them back a sense of national pride, to stage the HeBelieves Cup which will be held in the USA from May 27th to June 10th 2018 and which will be similar to the SheBelieves Cup - the female equivalent which is an annual four nation female football tournament which was inaugurated last year and which usually features the USA, France, Germany and England women's national football teams. However, this particular tournament will just be a one-off event."
"Now, don't get me wrong folks. I am in no way comparing the Italian, Dutch, Chilean and American national men's teams to women's teams. We are merely giving those national teams a shot at redeeming themselves with the winner getting a $2.5 million top prize and a beautiful trophy. That's right. $2.5 million dollars. That's $500,000.00 more than the U.S. women's national team got for winning the World Cup in 2015. So it is imperative that the competing nations bring their best 16 players to the tournament. Tickets for the tournament will go on sale from the second week in January and I am certain that when the competition starts it will be just the right appetizer that football fans need before the main course of the 2018 FIFA World Cup which will commence on June 14th and end on July 15th."
"Unfortunately though, when the World Cup begins, this competition, including the winners, will be quickly forgotten."